Paisley, in southern Oregon, is a small town of about 220 people. It is located on the edge of the Grand Bassin, with sagebrush to the east and the forest to the west. A small river fed by a spring, Chewaucan, crosses it.
The mayor said success came after setbacks – at one point, the fire jumped the waterway.
Dry, gusty winds and ’80s temperatures didn’t help, he said.
“So it’s not a fun time for firefighters to tackle this problem,” he said.
More rear burns took place on Tuesday evening and the efforts finally worked, returning the flames and climbing a ridge, he said.
“He was about eight or nine miles away when he started,” he says. “It’s all around us. But as long as he removes the fuel, he disappears.
Like other communities threatened by forest fires, the city has initiated a level 3 evacuation, which means, as the mayor said, one thing: “Go”.
Some did, by loading camp trailers. Their options were to travel south to the Red Cross facilities at a fairground in Lakeview, but many did not. “People know other people. They went to see friends and relatives. A little spread out, ”said the mayor.
Others stayed behind. As he explained, you cannot force people to leave their homes, farms and cattle.